While his lawyers are prepared to risk a court fight over a subpoena from Robert Mueller’s team to keep the President from speaking to investigators in-person, President Donald Trump is reportedly pushing his lawyers to continue negotiations for an interview with the special counsel.
According to three people briefed on the matter who spoke to the New York Times, Trump is set on doing the interview with Mueller because he’s convinced he can persuade investigators of his own theory: That their own probe is a “witch hunt.”
According to the Washington Post and the Times, Mueller’s team sent Trump’s lawyers a letter earlier this week, conceding to allow Trump to answer some obstruction of justice-related questions in writing rather than in-person. Investigators still want to press Trump on issues related to obstruction, like the firing of former FBI Director James Comey, according to the Post. While Mueller is still gunning for the chance to ask follow up questions in person, Trump’s legal team likely will continue to not allow it because they think it will legally expose Trump.
The two sides have been stuck in a standoff since March, when Mueller’s team suggested it could subpoena Trump for an interview. Trump has been enthusiastic about the prospect of a sit-down with Mueller, regularly claiming he can prove there was no collusion between his campaign and Russia to meddle in the 2016 election.
Trump, for the first time Wednesday, appeared to order his Justice Department to end the probe, which he has become increasingly exasperated with in recent weeks. The White House and Trump’s lawyers later claimed that Trump was just stating his opinion when he said Attorney General Jeff Sessions should end the investigation “right now.”